I’ll admit it. Many moons ago I was a total headbanger. Jean jacket, acid wash jeans, and the only person who had bigger and better hair than me was my boyfriend. So what if he’s a drag queen for real now? That’s a whole other story. I was totally invested in Whitesnake and Ratt and Def Leppard too. My Walkman lived in my jacket pocket, and the bottom of my stone wash hobo bag contained a bunch of cassette tapes that I needed to survive, well, life. I also loved a whole string of hard rock bands that found themselves lost in the shadows of… Bon Jovi.
I accidentally revisited XYZ the other day, and in doing so, I stumbled onto one of the best power ballads that far too many people will not remember by name. “What Keeps Me Loving You” just drips with heat and emotion still, to this day. If Terry Ilous’ vocals don’t get you then I absolutely promise that Marc Diglio’s wailing guitar solo really will. I don’t care what the genre may be; when a song drips with emotion I’m a fan. If you can distract me enough to actually make me feel something, then you’ve won my respect and maybe even a tiny corner of my crispy little heart.
This song? Man, we have all been there.
“Everytime I say goodbye
I can’t be free
Tell me why I never try
To let it be.”
Remember when you knew you weren’t in the best relationship but you couldn’t stay away? Remember how you went back for more when that little voice in the back of your head told you to keep it moving? Yeah, me too. So when Terry clearly feels these lyrics, so will you. When that guitar speaks, it’s going to hit a nerve somewhere inside of you too just as it did me.
The thing about songs like “What Keeps Me Loving You” is that they connect us all. That’s the calling card for a great song, one that will hold up over time, isn’t it? Grab your ear buds, close your eyes and give this a listen. It brings us all to a similar place and that is a beautiful thing.